WEEK 41 |
T HE adventure of the day mightily tormented Tom's dreams that night. Four times he had his hands on that rich treasure and four times it wasted to nothingness in his fingers as sleep forsook him and wakefulness brought back the hard reality of his misfortune. As he lay in the early morning recalling the incidents of his great adventure, he noticed that they seemed curiously subdued and far away—somewhat as if they had happened in another world, or in a time long gone by. Then it occurred to him that the great adventure itself must be a dream! There was one very strong argument in favor of this idea—namely, that the quantity of coin he had seen was too vast to be real. He had never seen as much as fifty dollars in one mass before, and he was like all boys of his age and station in life, in that he imagined that all references to "hundreds" and "thousands" were mere fanciful forms of speech, and that no such sums really existed in the world. He never had supposed for a moment that so large a sum as a hundred dollars was to be found in actual money in any one's possession. If his notions of hidden treasure had been analyzed, they would have been found to consist of a handful of real dimes and a bushel of vague, splendid, ungraspable dollars.
But the incidents of his adventure grew sensibly sharper and clearer under the attrition of thinking them over, and so he presently found himself leaning to the impression that the thing might not have been a dream, after all. This uncertainty must be swept away. He would snatch a hurried breakfast and go and find Huck.
Huck was sitting on the gunwale of a flatboat, listlessly dangling his feet in the water and looking very melancholy. Tom concluded to let Huck lead up to the subject. If he did not do it, then the adventure would be proved to have been only a dream.
Silence for a minute.
"Tom, if we'd 'a' left the blame tools at the dead tree, we'd 'a' got the money. Oh, ain't it awful!"
"What ain't a dream?"
"Oh, that thing yesterday. I been half thinking it was."
"Dream! If them stairs hadn't broke down you'd 'a' seen how much dream it was! I've had dreams enough all night—with that patch-eyed Spanish devil going for me all through 'em—rot him!"
"No, not rot him. Find him! Track the money!"
"Tom, we'll never find him. A feller don't have only one chance for such a pile—and that one's lost. I'd feel mighty shaky if I was to see him, anyway."
"Well, so'd I; but I'd like to see him, anyway—and track him out—to his Number Two."
"Number Two—yes, that's it. I ben thinking 'bout that. But I can't make nothing out of it. What do you reckon it is?"
"I dono. It's too deep. Say, Huck—maybe it's the number of a house!"
"Goody! . . . No, Tom, that ain't it. If it is, it ain't in this one-horse town. They ain't no numbers here."
"Well, that's so. Lemme think a minute. Here—it's the number of a room—in a tavern, you know!"
"Oh, that's the trick! They ain't only two taverns. We can find out quick."
"You stay here, Huck, till I come."
Tom was off at once. He did not care to have Huck's company in public places. He was gone half an hour. He found that in the best tavern, No. 2 had long been occupied by a young lawyer, and was still so occupied. In the less ostentatious house No. 2 was a mystery. The tavern-keeper's young son said it was kept locked all the time, and he never saw anybody go into it or come out of it except at night; he did not know any particular reason for this state of things; had had some little curiosity, but it was rather feeble; had made the most of the mystery by entertaining himself with the idea that that room was "ha'nted"; had noticed that there was a light in there the night before.
"That's what I've found out, Huck. I reckon that's the very No. 2 we're after."
"I reckon it is, Tom. Now what you going to do?"
Tom thought a long time. Then he said:
"I'll tell you. The back door of that No. 2 is the door that comes out into that little close alley between the tavern and the old rattletrap of a brick store. Now you get hold of all the doorkeys you can find, and I'll nip all of auntie's, and the first dark night we'll go there and try 'em. And mind you, keep a lookout for Injun Joe, because he said he was going to drop into town and spy around once more for a chance to get his revenge. If you see him, you just follow him; and if he don't go to that No. 2, that ain't the place."
"Lordy, I don't want to foller him by myself!"
"Why, it'll be night, sure. He mightn't ever see you—and if he did, maybe he'd never think anything."
"Well, if it's pretty dark I reckon I'll track him. I dono—I dono. I'll try."
"You bet I' ll follow him, if it's dark, Huck. Why, he might 'a' found out he couldn't get his revenge, and be going right after that money."
"It's so, Tom, it's so. I'll foller him; I will, by jingoes!"
"Now you're talking! Don't you ever weaken, Huck, and I won't."
"He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
"He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things, both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all."
Under the arched gate of a city wall, a group of people stood watching the road that wound down the mountain and off across the plain. The road lay dusty and white in September sunshine, and the eyes of the watchers followed it easily until it hid itself in a vast forest, that filled half the valley. On the point where road and forest met, the sharpest eyes were fixed.
The crowd was gay, but not noisy. There were few words and long silences, as always when people are waiting and expecting. Among all the eyes that watched the sunny road that day, the most earnest were those of Madonna Pica Bernardone, and the merriest were those of her little boy Francis, for the company was gathered to see the home-coming of Messer Piero Bernardone, the richest merchant of Assisi, and the lady Pica was his wife, and little Francis was his son. The others were friends and neighbours of Piero. Some were rich customers, who wondered if the merchant had found for them the beautiful stuffs which they had ordered. Certain of the company were only idlers, glad enough to have something happen to break the dulness of the long, warm afternoon.
Assisi, at whose gate the watchers stood, lies far across the sea in beautiful Italy. It is a little city, built on a mountain side, with a great wall all about it, and a castle on the height above, and it looks very much as it did on that September afternoon more than seven hundred years ago, when Francis Bernardone waited for his father. Inside the walls, the stone houses are crowded together, making narrow, crooked streets, so steep, often, that no carriage can drive through them. Some streets, indeed, are simply long flights of stone steps, where the children play, and the patient donkeys climb up, carrying heavy loads of charcoal or faggots. But, though the streets are narrow, Assisi is not gloomy. Everywhere there is sunshine and bright colour. Above the brown tiled roofs rise tall green cypress trees; over a bit of garden wall trail red trumpet-creepers and blue morning-glories; even the window-sills are gay with pink and red geraniums. In the open square the market-gardeners sell ripe grapes and plums and figs, covered over with fresh vine-leaves. Outside the city gates, all the world seems like a fair garden. The hill-sides are covered with olive trees, whose grey leaves twinkle like silver when the wind blows through them. Some of the trees look almost as old as the city walls, for their trunks are only hollow shells through which one sees the blue sky, though their tops still bear fruit bravely every year. From the foot of the mountain stretches the river valley, bright with wheat fields and tall corn, and vineyards where the vines hang in heavy garlands from one mulberry tree to another. Between the rows of trees, in the shadow of the vines, great white oxen move slowly, dragging a clumsy, old-fashioned plough; and down a sunken road that cuts through vineyards and cornfields go strong, brown peasant women with burdens on their heads.
Little Francis Bernardone must have trotted up and down the same steep streets, and have played in the same squares that one sees to-day; but the valley over which he looked, on this autumn afternoon, contained fewer vineyards and cornfields, and far more forest trees. Francis wondered what might lie hidden in the forest, for he had never travelled beyond the place where the white road disappeared.
The hour grew late, and the tired watchers shaded their eyes from the low sun that shone across the valley from the western mountains. Suddenly Francis shouted aloud, and, in a minute, the shout was taken up by many voices: "He is coming! He is coming!" They saw, at first, only a cloud of dust, moving along the road; but soon, horses and riders could be discerned, in a long line, half-hidden still by the dust that rose in their path and turned to gold and crimson haze in the red sunset.
As the horsemen climbed the hill to the city gate, the sight was more like the coming of a prince than of a merchant. Piero Bernardone rode ahead, in a company of soldiers, well armed and mounted upon fine horses. Behind this group followed a train of pack-horses and mules, heavily loaded with the rich goods that the merchant was bringing home. Last of all came another band of soldiers, some mounted, some on foot. All this escort was customary for a rich merchant in those days, for the roads were often held by wandering bands of soldiers or highway robbers. Piero Bernardone needed many swords to defend the silks and velvets, gold embroideries and jewels which he had bought in the great market towns of France and northern Italy.
At the gate of Assisi, Piero Bernardone dismounted gravely. He kissed the Lady Pica and the little Francis; he greeted his friends, somewhat coldly, perhaps, for he was a proud, hard man; but he turned a second time to kiss his boy, whom he loved dearly. Then Francis knew the proudest minute of his little life; for he was mounted upon his father's horse, while Piero and the Lady Pica walked beside him, and all the company, talking eagerly, entered the gate of San Pietro, and wound slowly up the stony streets that led to Piero Bernardone's home.
Inside the house, that night, Francis listened with wide eyes to his father's stories, for the merchant had always interesting adventures to tell. He had visited the great fairs, to which other merchants came, from Greece, from Africa, from Syria, from Germany and England. While he bought and exchanged goods, he heard news from all over the world, a world in which news travelled slowly, for there were no newspapers, nor telegrams, nor railroad trains.
On his way homeward the merchant was a welcome guest at the castles of knights and princes. Noble ladies bought his silks and laces, famous warriors begged him for tidings of wars in other lands, and all listened to any new stories which he had learned on his journey.
Of all the merchant's hearers none was so eager as his son Francis. For him the stern Piero remembered all the strange and beautiful tales that he heard by the way; stories of Charlemagne and Roland; of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. For him he learned the gay songs of the wandering poets, Troubadours, as they were called, who sang in the courts of kings and in the halls of nobles. Their songs were of brave knights in shining armour, and of ladies with white hands, beautiful eyes, and sweet, unforgettable names. Piero Bernardone cared little for the courtly words of these Troubadour songs, but, as he listened, he remembered the clear, childish voice at home, always quick to repeat new verses and new melodies. So Piero was glad when he heard the same song many times of an evening; and, next day, in the saddle, while he thought of prices and profits, his rough voice sang, over and over, daintily fashioned rhymes in praise of Isoline and Blanchefleur, of Beatrice and Amorette.
Francis learned all the stories and all the songs. Especially he loved the adventures of King Arthur and Sir Gawain, Sir Tristram and Sir Lancelot. On this September evening he listened till his big eyes were dim with sleep, and, all night long, he dreamed wonderful dreams, in which he became a great man, not a merchant like his father, but a knight like Lancelot.
"For pitie renneth sone in gentil herte."—Chaucer.
As Francis Bernardone grew from a boy to a man, he made friends with a company of gay youths, the sons of the greatest and richest families of Assisi. Their fathers were counts, and dukes, and princes, and the lads were vain of the names they bore, and of the palaces where they lived. It was a lawless company, bent on having a good time, and thinking nothing of the comfort of other people. The pranks of these young nobles were so reckless and, sometimes, so wicked that the good people of Assisi lived in terror of what they might do next.
The youths welcomed Francis into their fellowship because, though he had not a noble name, he had splendid clothes to wear, and much money to spend; and because, among them all, no one laughed so merrily or sang so sweetly as the merchant's son. The hours always went more gaily when Francis was of the party, for it made one feel happy just to look at his bright face. Piero Bernardone was proud that his son should be the friend and pet of these young lords, but the lad's gentle mother grieved that her kind-hearted little boy should come to be a wild and wicked man. Her heart ached in the night, when the noisy group went laughing and shouting through the streets, and she could hear the voice of Francis, sweeter and louder than the rest, singing a bit of Troubadour song that he had learned as a child:
"My heart is glad in spring-time,
When April turns to May;
When nightingales sing in the dark,
And thrushes sing by day."
The mother would listen till the laughter and singing were far away and faint, and the last sound was always the voice of her boy, which, indeed, she seemed to hear long after all was silent in the narrow street. When the neighbours complained that the conduct of the boys was too bad to be endured, the merchant only laughed. "It is the way of the world," he said. "Francis is no worse than the others. Boys must be boys. What would you have?" But his wife would speak softly, with tears in her gentle eyes: "Wait, I have great hope that he will yet become a good Christian." The mother knew all that was best in the boy. She thought: "However careless and wild he may be, he has a kind and loving heart." And she was right. In his gayest moments Francis was always quick to pity any one who was poor or in pain.
But one who is thoughtless is always in danger of being cruel. One day a man, ragged and hungry, crept in at the open door of Piero Bernardone's shop. Piero was absent, but Francis was spreading out beautiful silks and velvets before two customers, for he sometimes sold goods for his father. Standing in his dirty, brown rags among the red and purple stuffs and the gold embroideries, the beggar cried: "In the name of God, give me something, for I am starving!" Francis, whose mind was intent on his bargain, impatiently sent the man away. A moment later, he was sorry. "What would I have done," he said to himself, "if that man had asked me for money in the name of a count or baron? What ought I to do when he comes in the name of God?" Leaving the astonished customers in the shop, the boy ran out into the street, found the beggar and gave him all the money he had in his purse.
Despite his gay life, Francis had times of being thoughtful, and dissatisfied with himself. As he went up and down the streets of Assisi, well dressed and well fed, he saw people sick and hungry and ragged, glad to receive a crust of bread or an old cloak. "These people," thought Francis, "would live for months on the money that I waste in one day." Sometimes he would throw his purse to a starving man, or his bright cloak to a ragged one, and his merry friends would laugh and jest at him for his folly. Then they would all ride away gaily, and even Francis would forget.
He did not forget his old love for the stories of King Arthur and the Round Table. He disliked more and more the thought of being a merchant. He wanted to travel, to see far-away countries, but he wanted to go as a soldier, not as a tradesman. He wanted to storm great castles, to rescue fair ladies, to ride at the head of a fearless band of knights. He loved the knights of the old stories, not alone because they were strong in battle, but because they were gracious in speech, true of their word, and kind to all the unfortunate and weak. Perhaps it was his love for gentle manners and brave deeds that kept Francis from becoming altogether hard-hearted and selfish in these days.
Besides the songs of love and of battle, he had learned wise little verses about the duties of knighthood, and sometimes, when he and his friends had been most rude and unknightly, the old rhymes came back to his mind like a reproachful voice:
"Nowhere is such a noble name
As that of chivalry;
Of coward acts and words of shame
It is the enemy;
But wisdom, truth, valour in fight,
Pity and purity,
These are the gifts that make a knight,
My friend, as you may see."
WEEK 41 |
ESIDES the civil war, Britain had other wars to fight.
France, England's old enemy was still the enemy of Britain.
Once again there was war between them, and this time the
fighting was not in France, nor in England, nor on the seas,
Long ago in the days of Elizabeth, you remember that Englishmen sailed over the seas to the newly-discovered country of America, and made their home there. You remember how Raleigh claimed Virginia for England, and how later the stern Puritans sailed away in the Mayflower, and founded a new Plymouth and a New England over the sea. Little by little these colonies (as such new countries which are peopled by an old country are called) grew. Towns sprang up, harbours were built, and the colonies became a rich and powerful part of Great Britain.
In another country, called India, Britain had also possessions, and trade with India had become of great importance, and was carried on chiefly by a company called the East India Company.
But France, too had colonies in India and in America, and the French and the British became so jealous of each other that war broke out in both countries. The French were much stronger in India at this time than the British, and they made up their minds to drive the British away altogether. They might have succeeded too, but for the cleverness of a young man called Robert Clive. He was a clerk in the East India Company's office, and not a particularly good clerk either, because the work he had to do was not at all the kind of work for which he was fitted.
When war broke out Robert Clive gave up being a clerk and became a soldier, and he soon showed that he was a clever one. Some of the native Indians fought for the French and some for the British. But Clive and his sepoys, as the native soldiers were called, won, and the French governor was obliged to leave the country.
A few years later, one of the native princes who had fought for the French, attacked the British who were living in Calcutta. He killed many of them, destroyed their houses and factories, and those who were left alive he shut up in a horrible prison called the Black Hole.
There were one hundred and
It was a hot summer night. What little air came through the tiny windows was soon poisoned by being breathed over and over again. People fainted, went mad, died. The cruel Indians held torches to the windows and, looking in, laughed at the terrible sufferings of the poor prisoners, who cried for mercy as they beat upon the door trying vainly in their agony to break it down. In the morning only twenty-three came out from the dreadful Hole alive.
When Clive heard of this horrible deed, he marched against
the native Prince, and utterly defeated him in a battle
called Plassey. He drove him from his throne, and placed
another Prince, who was friendly to the British, upon it; he
drove the French from their fortress there, and ever since
then the power of Britain has grown and grown in India,
WAS winding up my summer vacation with a little fishing party all by myself, on a wharf whose piles stood deep in the swirling waters from Buzzards Bay. My heavy-leaded line hummed taut in the swift current; my legs hung limp above the water; my back rested comfortably against a great timber that was warm in the September sun.
Exciting? Of course not. Fishing is fishing—any kind of fishing is fishing to me. But the kind I am most used to, and the kind I like best, is from the edge of a wharf, where my feet dangle over, where my "throw-out" line hums taut over my finger, in a tide that runs swift and deep and dark below me.
For what may you not catch in such dark waters? And when there are no "bites," you can sit and wait; and I think that sitting and waiting with my back against a big warm timber is just as much fun now as it used to be when I was a boy.
But after all it is fish that you want when you go fishing; and it is exciting, moreover, just to sit as I was sitting on the wharf, with all the nerves of your body concentrated in the tip of your right forefinger, under the pressure of your line. For how do you know but that the next instant you may get a bite? And how do you know what the fish may be?
When you whip a trout stream for trout—why, you expect trout; when you troll a pond for pickerel, you expect pickerel; but when you sit on a wharf with your line far out in big, deep waters—why, you can expect almost anything—except shoes!
Shoes? Yes, old shoes!
As I sat there on the wharf of Buzzards Bay, there was suddenly a sharp tug at my line. A short quick snap, and I hooked him, and began quickly hauling him in.
How heavily he came! How dead and stupid! Even a flounder or a cod would show more fight than this; and very naturally, for on the end of my line hung an old shoe!
"Well," I thought, "I have fished for soles, and down on the Savannah I have fished for 'gators, but I never fished for shoes before"; and taking hold of my big fish (for it must have been a No. 12 shoe), I was about to feel for the hook when I heard a strange grunting noise inside, and nearly tumbled overboard at sight of two big eyes and a monstrous head filling the whole inside of the shoe!
"In the name of Davy Jones!" I yelled, flinging line and shoe and thing (whatever it might be) far behind me, "I've caught the Old Man of the Sea with his shoe on!" And, scrambling to my feet, I hurried across the wharf to see if it really were a fish that now lay flapping close beside the shoe.
It was really a fish; but it was also a hobgoblin, nightmare, and ooze-croaker!—if you know what that is!
I had never seen a live toadfish before, and it is small wonder that I sighed with relief to see that he had unhooked himself; for he looked not only uncanny, but also dangerous! He was slimy all over, with a tremendous head and a more tremendous mouth (if that could be), with jaws studded on the inside with rows of sharp teeth, and fringed on the outside with folds of loose skin and tentacles. Great glaring eyes stared at me, with ragged bits of skin hanging in a ring about them.
Ugly? Oh, worse than ugly! Two thirds of the monster was head; the rest, a weak, shapeless, slimy something with fins and tail, giving the creature the appearance of one whose brain had grown at the expense of the rest of his body, making him only a kind of living head.
I looked at him. He looked at me, and croaked.
"I don't understand you," said I, and he croaked again. "But you are alive," said I; "and God made you, and therefore you ought not to look so ugly to me," and he flapped in the burning sun and croaked again.
Stooping quickly, I seized him, crowded him back into the old shoe, and dipped him under water. He gasped with new life and croaked again.
"Now," said I, "I begin to understand you. That croak means that you are glad to taste salt water again"; and he croaked again, and I dipped him in again.
Then I looked him over thoughtfully. He was about fifteen inches long, brown in color, and coarsely marbled with a darker hue, which ran along the fins in irregular wavy lines.
"You are odd, certainly, and peculiar, and altogether homely," said I; "but really you are not very ugly. Ugly? No, you are not ugly. How could anybody be ugly with a countenance so wise and learned?—so thoughtful and meditative?" And the toadfish croaked and croaked again. And I dipped him in again, and understood him better, and liked him better all the time.
Then I took him in his shoe to the edge of the wharf.
"I am glad to have made your acquaintance, sir," said I. "If I come this way next summer, I shall look you up; for I want to know more about you. Good-by." And I heard him croak "Good-by," as he and his shoe went sailing out and dropped with a splash into the deep dark water of the Bay.
I meant what I said, and the next summer, along the shores of the Bay I hunted him up. He was not in an old shoe this time, but under certain rather large stones that lay just below ebb-tide mark, so that they were usually, though not always, covered with water. Here I found him keeping house; and as I was about to keep house myself, my heart really warmed to him.
Here I found him keeping house.
I was understanding him more and more, and so I was liking him better and better. Ugly? Wait until I tell you what the dear fellow was doing.
He was keeping house, and he was keeping it all alone! Now listen, for this is what I learned that summer about the strange habits of Mrs. Toadfish, and the handsome behavior of her husband.
It is along in June that the toadfish of our New England bays begin to look round for their summer homes. As far as we now know, it is the female who makes the choice and leaves her future mate to find her and her home. A rock is usually chosen, always in shallow water, and sometimes so far up on the shore that at low tide it is left high and almost dry. The rock may vary in size from one as small as your hat up to the very largest.
Having selected the place for her nest, she digs a pathway down under the rock, and from beneath scoops out a hollow quite large enough to swim round in. This completes the nest, or more properly burrow, in which her little toadfish babies are to be reared.
She now begins to lay the eggs, but not in the sand, as one would suppose; she deliberately pastes them on the under surface of the rock. Just how she does this no one knows.
The eggs are covered with a clear, sticky paste which hardens in contact with water, and is the means by which the mother sticks them fast to the rock. This she must do while swimming on her back, fastening one egg at a time, each close beside its neighbor in regular order, till all the cleared surface of the rock is covered with hundreds of beautiful amber eggs, like drops of pure, clear honey.
The eggs are about the size of buckshot; and, curiously enough, when they hatch, the young come out with their heads all turned in the same direction. Does the mother know which is the head end of the egg? Or has some strange power drawn them around? Or do they turn themselves for some reason?
It will be noticed, in lifting up the rocks, that the heads of the fish are always turned toward the entrance to their nest, through which the light and fresh water come; and it is quite easy to see that these two important things have much to do with the direction in which the little fish are turned.
After Mrs. Fish has finished laying her eggs, her maternal cares are over. She leaves both eggs and cares to the keeping of Mr. Fish, swims off, and crawls into a tin can—or old shoe!—to meditate in sober satisfaction for the rest of the summer.
So it was she that I caught, and not the gallant Mr. Toadfish at all! I am glad of it. I have a deal of sympathy and down-right admiration for Mr. Fish. He behaves most handsomely.
However, Mrs. Fish is very wise, and could not leave her treasures in better keeping. If ever there was a faithful parent, it is a Father Toadfish. For three weeks he guards the eggs before they hatch out, and then they are only half hatched; for it has taken the little fish all this time to get out on the top side of the eggs, to which they are still attached by their middles, so that they can move only their heads and tails.
They continue to wiggle in this fashion for some weeks, until the yolk of the egg is absorbed, and they have grown to be nearly half an inch long. They are then free from the rock and swim off, looking as much like their parents as children can, and every bit as ugly.
Ugly? Did I say ugly? Is a baby ever ugly to its mother? Or a baby toadfish to its father? No. You cannot love a baby and at the same time see it ugly. You cannot love the out of doors with all your mind as well as with all your heart, and ever see it ugly.
All this time the father has been guarding the little toadfish; and if, during the whole period, he goes out to get a meal, I have not been able to find when it is, for I always find him at home, minding the babies.
The toadfish lives entirely unmolested by enemies, so far as I can learn; and his appearance easily explains the reason of it. I know of nothing that would willingly enter a croaking, snapping, slimy toadfish's nest to eat him; and it takes some courage to put one's hand into his dark hole and pull him out.
His principal diet seems to be shrimp, worms and all kinds of small fish. Yet he may be said to have no principal diet; for, no matter what you are fishing for, or what kind of bait you are using, if there is a toadfish in the vicinity you are sure to catch him. If fishing along a wharf in September, you may catch the fish, and an old shoe along with him—with her, perhaps I should say.
And if you do, please notice how wise and thoughtful the face, how beautifully marbled the skin, how courageous the big strong jaw!
Ugly? Not if you will put yourself in the toadfish's shoe.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat:
Oh! be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
WEEK 41 |
T O finish his talk on lightning, the next morning Uncle Paul told them about clouds. The occasion, moreover, was very favorable. In one part of the sky great white clouds like mountains of cotton were piled up. The eye was delighted with the soft outlines of that celestial wadding.
"You remember," he began, "all those fogs that on damp autumn and winter mornings cover the earth with a veil of gray smoke, hide the sun, and prevent our seeing a few steps in front of us?"
"Looking into the air, you could see something like fine dust of water floating," said Claire; and Jules added:
"We played hide and seek with Emile in that kind of damp smoke. We could not see each other a few steps away."
"Well," resumed Uncle Paul, "clouds and fog are the same
thing; only fog spreads about us and shows for what it is,
gray, damp, cold; while clouds keep more or less above us
and take on, with distance, a rich appearance. There are
some of dazzling whiteness, like those you see over there;
others of a red color, or
"People can then mount as high as the clouds, Uncle?" Emile asked.
"Certainly. All one needs is a pair of legs stout enough to climb to the top of a mountain. Often then clouds are under one's feet."
"And you have seen clouds underneath you?"
"That must be a very beautiful sight."
"So beautiful that words cannot express it. But it is not
exactly a pleasure if the clouds mount and envelop you. You
can be very much embarrassed by the obscurity of the fog
alone. You lose your way; you become confused, without
suspecting any danger in the most dangerous places, at the
risk of falling into some abyss; you lose sight of the
guides, who alone know the way and could save you from a
false step. No, all is not roses up among the clouds. You
will perhaps learn that some day to your cost. Meanwhile let
us transport ourselves in imagination to the top of a
"Above our heads the sky, perfectly clear, presents no
unusual appearance; the sun shines there
in all its
brilliancy. Down there at our feet, almost in the plains,
white clouds spread themselves out. The wind sweeps them
before it and drives them toward the summit. There they
are, rolling and mounting up the side of the mountain. One
would think they were immense flocks of cotton pushed up the
slope by some invisible hand. Now and then a ray of sunlight
penetrates their depths and gives them the brilliancy of
gold and fire. The beautiful clouds behind which the sun
disappears at its setting are not richer. What brilliant
tints, what soft suppleness! They mount higher and higher.
Now they roll up like a shining white band around the top of
the mountain, and hide the view of the plain from us. Only
the point where we are projects above the
"That, my little friends, is what one does not fail to wish when one is in the clouds, which, so beautiful at a distance, are nothing but gloomy fog when close at hand. The spectacle of the clouds should be seen from afar. When in our curiosity we wish to examine certain appearances too closely, we sometimes find them deceptive; but we also find that, under a secondary brilliancy, which serves to adorn the earth, they hide realities of the first importance. The marvels of the clouds are only an appearance, an illusion of light; but under this illusion are concealed the reservoirs of rain, source of the earth's fecundity. God, by whom the smallest details of creation have been ordered, willed that the most common but also most necessary substances should serve as an ornament to the earth in spite of their really humble aspect; and he clothes them with a prestige dependent on the distance from which we are to contemplate them. The gray vapor of the clouds gives us rain. That is its chief utility. The sun illuminates it, and that suffices to transform it into a celestial tapestry in which the astonished eye finds the splendor of purple, gold and fire. That is its ornamental function.
"The height maintained by clouds is very variable and is generally less than you might suppose. There are clouds that lazily trail along the ground; they are the fogs. There are others that cling to the sides of moderately high mountains, and still others that crown the summits. The region where they are commonly found is at a height varying from 500 to 1500 meters. In some rather rare instances they rise to nearly four leagues. Beyond that eternal serenity reigns; clouds never mount there, thunder never rumbles, and snow, hail, and rain never form.
"Those clouds are called 'cirrus' that look sometimes like light flocks of curly wool, sometimes like drawn-out-filaments of dazzling whiteness, sharply contrasting with the deep blue of the sky. They are the highest of all the clouds. They are often a league high. When cirrus clouds are small and rounded and closely grouped in large numbers, so as to look like the backs of a flock of sheep, the sky thus covered is said to be dappled. It is usually a sign that the weather is going to change.
"The name 'cumulus' is given to those large white clouds
with round outlines which pile up, during the heat of
summer, like immense mountains of
"Then the clouds we see over there next to the mountains," queried Jules, "are cumulus? They look like piles of cotton. Will they bring us a storm?"
"I think not. The wind is driving them in another direction. The storm always takes place in their neighborhood. There! Hear that?"
A sudden light had just flashed through the flocks of the cumulus. After rather a long wait the noise of the thunder reached them, but greatly weakened by distance. Questions came quickly from Jules's and Emile's lips: "Why does it rain over there, and not here? Why does the noise of the thunder come after the lightning? Why—"
"We are going to talk about all that," said Uncle Paul; "but first let us learn the other forms of clouds. 'Stratus' is applied to clouds disposed in irregular bands placed in tiers on the horizon at sunrise or sunset. They are clouds that, in the fading daylight, especially in autumn, take the glowing tints of melted metals and of flame. The red stratus of the morning are followed by rain or wind.
"Finally, we give the name 'nimbus' to a mass of dark clouds of a uniform gray, so crowded together that it is impossible to distinguish one cloud from another. These clouds generally dissolve into rain. Seen from a distance, they often look like broad stripes extending in a straight line from heaven to earth. They are trails of rain.
"Now, Emile may ask his questions."
Not long after that, a battle was fought at Lexington, near Boston.
Everybody saw that there must be a war. Congress called on all the colonies for volunteers, and appointed George Washington commander-in-chief of the American army. General Washington soon drove the British out of Boston, and hurried away to prevent them from taking New York.
Then King George sent over a great fleet with cannon and armed men. Some of the men were Hessians. They could not speak a word of English, yet they were hired by the king to fight his English subjects. This made the Americans more angry than ever. They said that a king who would do such a thing as that was not worthy of obedience, and that the colonies should not be a part of England any more. The Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, and then war with England began in real earnest.
Meanwhile, Alexander Hamilton was studying how to build forts and drill soldiers. When it was known that the British fleet was coming against New York, he joined a company of volunteers. They called themselves "Hearts of Oak," and made a very brave showing indeed in their green uniforms and leather caps, with "Freedom or Death" on the bands.
It became necessary to remove some cannon from the battery. The "Hearts of Oak" agreed to do it. As they stood on the shore, pulling and tugging at a heavy gun, the British fired at them from the ships. A comrade fell dead at Hamilton's side; but the young men stood their ground, and the gun was at last removed to safety.
Now, when the people in the city heard this firing from the British ships, they rushed into the streets, crying: "Down with the Tories!" "Down with the hirelings of the king!" And one of the first men they wanted to hang was Dr. Cooper, the president of Columbia College.
You remember that this was the Tory whom Hamilton had opposed in the newspapers. Yet Hamilton knew that it would be a wicked thing to seize a defenseless man.
He was tired and heated from his work with the gun; but when he saw the angry mob surging toward the president's house, he hurried to it by a short street, and stood on the steps.
He told the people they were bringing disgrace on the name of liberty. He thought he would keep on talking in a very loud voice until the president might escape by a back door.
Dr. Cooper could not believe that Hamilton was generous enough to defend him. He thought he was down there on the front steps inciting the mob to burn his house. So he looked out of the window and called: "Don't listen to him, gentlemen; he's crazy! he's crazy!"
At last, the old scholar learned the truth, and escaped through a back door to a British man-of-war which lay in the harbor.
At another time, while the mobs were rushing to destroy the printing presses of the Tories, Hamilton again interfered. He said the rights of all citizens should be protected, and begged the frantic men to respect the law.
Soon after this, Hamilton was made captain of an artillery company.
He was very proud of his company. He spent all his money to equip his men, and trained them until they were the best soldiers in New York.
One day, as they were at drill, loading and unloading the big guns, taking them apart, putting them together again, and running with them back and forth, who should pass but Washington himself! The great general stopped at the drill ground to watch the artillery company.
He was so pleased with the bright face and the
commanding tones of the little captain that he asked
who he was; and then he slowly passed on, repeating to
himself: "Alexander Hamilton, the 'Vindicator of
Another day the great commander-in-chief rode by as Hamilton was constructing some earth works at Fort Washington. He stopped his horse and watched the little engineer. And when he saw that it was the captain who had drilled the artillery company so well, he invited him to his tent.
They had a long and delightful talk together. Young Hamilton sat on a camp stool answering questions; he was so modest and intelligent that he quite won the heart of Washington; and from that very day a friendship began between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton such as few men ever know. It was a friendship that lasted till death.
Some time you will read all about the war between the British and the Americans. I can only mention a few of the battles in this little book.
The king's troops seized New York. Then they followed Washington's army up the Hudson, and there were several engagements. Hamilton was always in the thickest of the fight. At Fort Washington he held the enemy back with his guns for a time; and when they had captured the fort, he hurried into the presence of Washington and proposed to re-capture it with his company. As he stood there with his cocked hat in his hand, he looked very eager and impatient to hurry to the task. But the prudent general thought the risk was too great, and ordered a retreat.
Hamilton soon won the name of the "Little Lion" by his boldness. He gloried in fighting for liberty. It is said that as he marched along beside his cannon, with his hand resting on the barrel, he patted and stroked it as if it were a favorite horse.
Washington kept on retreating toward Philadelphia. His army was poorly clothed and half fed and only numbered about three thousand men. Following after it came the great British army, under Cornwallis. There were over eight thousand soldiers in scarlet and gold, with banners flying and music playing; they were certain of victory.
When Washington reached the Raritan River, Cornwallis was close behind; but Hamilton planted his cannon on a high ledge of rocks above the ford of the river, and kept back the red coats until the rear of the ragged Americans was safe.
The "Little Lion" was soon rewarded for his pluck; he was appointed aide-de-camp and private secretary to General Washington, and he was given the rank of lieutenant-colonel; that was a proud day for Alexander Hamilton.
My good blade carves the casques of men,
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten,
Because my heart is pure.
The shattering trumpet shrilleth high,
The hard brands shiver on the steel,
The splintered spear-shafts crack and fly,
The horse and rider reel:
They reel, they roll in clanging lists,
And when the tide of combat stands,
Perfume and flowers fall in showers,
That lightly rain from ladies' hands.
How sweet are looks that ladies bend
On whom their favours fall!
For them I battle till the end,
To save from shame and thrall:
But all my heart is drawn above,
My knees are bow'd in crypt and shrine:
I never felt the kiss of love,
Nor maiden's hand in mine.
More bounteous aspects on me beam,
Me mightier transports move and thrill;
So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer
A virgin heart in work and will.
When down the stormy crescent goes,
A light before me swims,
Between dark stems the forest glows,
I hear a noise of hymns:
Then by some secret shrine I ride;
I hear a voice, but none are there;
The stalls are void, the doors are wide,
The tapers burning fair.
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,
The silver vessels sparkle clean,
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,
And solemn chants resound between.
Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres
I find a magic bark;
I leap on board: no helmsman steers,
I float till all is dark.
A gentle sound, an awful light!
Three angels bear the holy Grail:
With folded feet, in stoles of white,
On sleeping wings they sail.
Ah, blessèd vision! blood of God!
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
As down dark tides the glory slides,
And star-like mingles with the stars.
When on my goodly charger borne
Thro' dreaming towns I go,
The cock crows ere the Christmas morn,
The streets are dumb with snow.
The tempest crackles on the leads,
And, ringing, springs from brand and mail;
But o'er the dark a glory spreads,
And gilds the driving hail.
I leave the plain, I climb the height;
No branchy thicket shelter yields;
But blessèd forms in whistling storms
Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields.
A maiden knight—to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear;
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven
That often meet me here.
I muse on joy that will not cease,
Pure spaces cloth'd in living beams,
Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odours haunt my dreams;
And, stricken by an angel's hand,
This mortal armour that I wear,
This weight and size, this heart and eyes,
Are touch'd, are turn'd to finest air.
The clouds are broken in the sky,
And thro' the mountain-walls
A rolling organ-harmony
Swells up, and shakes and falls.
Then move the trees, the copses nod,
Wings flutter, voices hover clear:
"O just and faithful knight of God!
Ride on! the prize is near."
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange;
By bridge and ford, by park and pale,
All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide,
Until I find the Holy Grail.
WEEK 41 |
N OW, while the boys are in swimming, suppose we stop a minute and answer a few questions. If you children would like to know when this story begins, you will have to subtract something over eleven hundred years from this year and that will leave you just three figures; which means that it was enormously long ago. For if you have subtracted right you will find that the story begins in the year 800. And if you want to know where the old town of Aachen was, you will have to turn in your geographies to the map of Europe and look in the western part of Prussia; and there you will find that Aachen, which is very near to France, has also a French name, Aix-la-Chapelle, which means Aachen of the chapel, or church, because of the wonderful one which King Charlemagne built there.
But if anybody had told Rainolf or Aymon or the rest of those boys in swimming that the town was ever called Aix-la-Chapelle and that it was in Prussia, they would have stared and laughed; for the simple reason that there wasn't any Prussia then. Neither was there any Germany or France as they are bounded in your maps, nor Belgium nor Holland.
"Dear me!" you say, "why what in the world was there?"
Well, there was just the same big country with its hills and valleys and mountains and rivers, only it wasn't all settled and divided up and named as it is now. It was all ruled by King Charlemagne, and, to be sure, some of it to the east of Aachen was vaguely called Germany, but nobody could have told exactly how far Germany went. While west and north and south of Aachen, where is now Belgium and Holland and France, was mostly called Gaul. In this great region many different kinds of people lived. Those in the southern part of Gaul were quite civilized, because once upon a time they had been conquered by the Romans who had taught them many things. Those up in the northern part of the kingdom were many of them still wild and savage; while those in the middle part were, as might have been expected betwixt and between; that is, civilized in many ways and in others very rude and ignorant.
A few hundred years before our story begins, when the whole country was peopled by wandering tribes generally fighting each other, one tribe, called the Franks, being stronger than the rest, managed to get possession of a large part of the land and a Frankish chief named Clovis became King. Clovis conquered many of the other tribes and added to his kingdom; and though he had been a heathen to start with, he ended by being baptized and becoming a Christian.
But Clovis seemed to be the only great chief of his family; for after he died his sons and grandsons and great- great- grandsons were all so stupid and good-for-nothing that the Frankish people did not know what to do with them. They did not like to take their crowns away from them, so they let them still be called Kings, but shut them up in their palaces or sometimes even carted them off to farmhouses in the country. And while each "Sluggard King," for so they were nick-named, thus dawdled away his life, the kingdom was really managed by a man called the Mayor of the Palace.
By and by there was a Mayor of the Palace named Pepin who was a very clever man and decided to make a change. He thought that as all the descendants of Clovis were too silly to rule and other people had to do all their work for them, it was high time to stop pretending they were Kings. By this time all the Frankish people had grown very tired of the foolish old royal family and quite agreed with Pepin. They said that as he had been such a good Mayor of the Palace he should be King instead of Childeric, who was the last of the family of Clovis and who was then shut up in a farmhouse where he did nothing but eat and drink and doze.
So the big Frankish warriors lifted Pepin up on their shields and showed him to everybody as their new King; and a very good one he made.
But it was Pepin's baby boy Charles who was destined to be the lasting glory of the Franks. When he grew up and inherited the kingdom, he soon earned the title of Charles the Great, or Charlemagne, which is the same thing. He extended his dominions till his kingdom spread over all that is now France and Germany and most of Italy and much more besides and was one of the largest in the world; and not only was he a great warrior, but he was one of the very greatest and wisest rulers the world has ever seen. Indeed, he was so remarkable and so powerful that it is no wonder that for hundreds of years after his time people declared that he was at least ten feet tall, that in battle he could hew down dozens of his enemies at a single stroke, and that he was so wise that he knew instantly everything that went on in the farthest parts of his kingdom.
Yes, about Charlemagne and the Twelve Paladins, who were his bravest warriors, more wonderful stories have been told and more beautiful songs sung than about any other King that ever lived, excepting only King Arthur of Britain and the Knights of the Round Table; and, of course, you have heard of them.
Now, Charlemagne was indeed very wise; and among other things he saw that the Franks had much to learn in many ways. And this brings us back to the King's palace; for he knew one thing particularly his people had to be taught, and that was how to build beautiful houses such as he had seen in his wars in Italy and other far countries. So when he wanted to build the palace at his favorite Aachen he brought home with him not only Italian workmen to teach the Franks, but also quantities of fine marble columns and handsome mosaics and beautiful carvings.
And that was why the great palace there was one of the finest of the many belonging to Charlemagne. And that was why, too, the big swimming-pool was so well made; for the King had seen baths like it at Rome.
But really it is time Rainolf and all those other boys came out of it, for they have been swimming all the while we have been talking about the Frankish people! And, besides, Charlemagne himself has not yet come into the story, and surely you must want to see what such a wonderful King is like.
So splash! out come the boys and run off to put on their clothes, and—if you look sharp—you will see the mighty Charlemagne come into the very next chapter; though he will come quietly and not as if he were entering a captured city. When he did that people used to be terribly frightened; for marching before him would be such multitudes of soldiers with iron spears and coats of iron mail and iron leggings, and so many bold knights on horseback, wearing iron armor and iron helmets and iron breastplates and iron gauntlets and carrying iron battle-axes, and then the mighty Charlemagne himself clad in iron from head to toe, riding an iron gray horse, holding in one hand an enormous iron lance, and looking so—but let us wait till he comes into the story.
There was once a poor, lean old Woman, who lived in a tiny, tumbled-down house, with a Cat as poor and as lean as herself. This Cat had never tasted a bit of bread, and had come no nearer a mouse than to find its tracks in the dust. One morning, when the Cat was sitting as usual on the roof of the house, he saw another Cat walking along the ridgepole of the roof opposite. At first he scarcely recognized the Cat as one of his own kin, his sides were so sleek and fat. He carried his long tail straight up in the air, and blinked his yellow eyes in the sunshine. As the Fat Cat came nearer, the Lean Cat called out to him,—
"My good neighbor, you look like the happiest cat alive. You are as plump as if you had sat every day of your life at a banquet. Pray tell me where it is that you find so much to eat?"
"Where, indeed," replied the Fat Cat, sitting down and curling his long tail about his legs, "but at the King's table. Every day, when the feast is spread, I go thither and snatch away some dainty morsel of food, either a piece of roast beef or a fried trout."
The Lean Cat drew nearer to the edge of the roof. "Oh, tell me," he begged, "what is roast beef, and how do fried trout smell? I have never tasted anything but broth."
"Ah, that is why you look as lean as a spider," the other Cat answered. "Now, if you were only to look once at the King's table, it would put new life into your old bones. To-morrow, if you wish, I will take you thither."
With a purr of satisfaction, the Lean Cat jumped off the roof and ran to tell his Mistress the good news. But the Old Woman was far from happy when she heard of the expedition. "I beg you," she pleaded with her Cat, "to stay at home and be content with your dish of honest broth. Think what might happen to you if the royal cook should catch you stealing from the King's table!"
But the Lean Cat was so greedy for food that the words of his Mistress went in one ear and out the other. The next day the two cats started for the palace.
Now it had so happened the day before that the cats of the palace had so overrun the banquet table that the King had issued this decree:—
Any cat who this day shows his whiskers within the palace shall be instantly hanged.
The Fat Cat wisely approached the palace stealthily. As he was creeping through the gate, another cat warned him of the decree and he took to his heels. But the Lean Cat was already within the banquet hall, for at the first odor of roasting meat that came through the window he had leaped forward, leaving his companion far behind. He was just snatching a morsel of venison from the table, when a strong hand seized him by the back of the neck, and an instant later he was put to death.
"Alack, alack, woe is me!" sighed the Old Woman that evening when her cat did not return for his supper; "if only my puss had been content with his dish of honest broth, he would still be alive and purring on my hearthstone."
WEEK 41 |
"When Europe crouched to France's yoke,
And Austria bent and Prussia broke."
W HEN the news of Trafalgar reached Napoleon, he had already given up the camp at Boulogne. The thousand ships in the harbour lay forgotten, the relics of a dismal failure. When Villeneuve, after giving Nelson a chase to the West Indies, had made for Cadiz instead of the coast of England, Napoleon's anger had burst forth.
"That Villeneuve," he had cried, choking with rage as he strode up and down his room, "is not fit to command a frigate. What a navy! What an admiral!"
His dreams of invading England by means of India, had vanished in the smoke and thunder of Aboukir Bay. His dreams of invading England herself, disappeared in the roar of the guns at Trafalgar.
But already his active brain was working on an alternate scheme, for bringing that proud nation to his feet. He could not conquer England, but he would conquer Europe. If he could not enter London, he would enter Vienna, the capital of Austria; Berlin, the capital of Prussia; Moscow, the capital of Russia,—all of which countries were at this time allied with England against France. He would conquer these, and so ruin England's trade in Europe; close every port against her, and so reduce her to submission. England was the mistress of the seas, but Napoleon would be master of the land.
In September of 1805 he left Paris for Germany. Already thousands of his troops were silently marching along a hundred roads from Boulogne to the Black Forest, to prevent the union of the allies. They were guided by the master-mind of Napoleon, and they marched to certain victory.
Four days before the battle of Trafalgar, a large Austrian army was compelled to surrender to the French at Ulm, on the banks of the Danube. And while Nelson was preparing for battle off Cape Trafalgar, Napoleon was receiving the homage of the vanquished Austrians, and sending off a waggon-load of Austrian trophies to speak of victory to the people at Paris. This cleared the way to Vienna, which Napoleon entered as a conqueror on November 13.
Three weeks later Russians and Austrians fought side by side at Austerlitz, a small town to the north of Vienna.
"English gold has brought these Russians from the ends of the earth," he told his soldiers. "In twenty-four hours that army will be mine."
The sun rose brightly on December 3, the morning of the battle. It shone on the faces of 73,000 Frenchmen, resolved to conquer or to die; it cast its shadows before the grey colours of the Russians and the white coats of the Austrians, as they pressed forward towards the frozen swamps of the little river that flowed by the town. And the "Sun of Austerlitz" passed into a proverb, as a sure omen for victory. It was the anniversary of Napoleon's coronation, too, and his soldiers cried with enthusiasm, that they would celebrate it in a manner worthy of its glory.
The day wore on, and the two Emperors—Alexander of Russia and Francis of Austria—beheld from the heights of Austerlitz, the complete destruction of their armies. 21,000 Russians and 6000 Austrians lay dead or dying on the field, while guns and banners fell into the hands of the victorious French.
Austerlitz completed, what Ulm had begun. The union of Russia and Austria with England against France, was undone. Undone, also, was the English statesman who had planned the union. The news of the defeat of Austerlitz killed William Pitt. The brilliant son of a brilliant father, Pitt had played a large part in his country during the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon to power.
"It is not a chip of the old block,—it is the old block itself," Burke had cried, when young Pitt had made one of his first speeches in the English House of Commons. He had loved England with all the fierce devotion of his father, the Earl of Chatham. He had refused to bow to the dictates of Napoleon. He had roused England to put forth her full strength to withstand the world-conqueror. He was "the pilot that weathered the storm." His last hopes for England lay in the help of Russia and Austria. Now that help was gone. He was already worn out with work and anxiety; the hollow voice and wasted form had long told his friends that death was not far off. But now the news of Austerlitz killed him. He never recovered from the blow. The terrible "Austerlitz look," as it has been called, never left his face again.
"Roll up that map," he said, his eyes falling on a map of Europe that hung in the house; "it will not be wanted these ten years."
"My country! How I leave my country," he murmured, as he lay dying in the new year of 1806.
"England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, I trust, save Europe by her example."
These famous words he left as a legacy to the country which he had loved long and passionately.
And still the mighty shadow of Napoleon crept on over the map of Europe. England had no Nelson now to conquer on the seas, no Pitt to lift up his voice in her council halls; and the great conqueror carried all before him. He had already made the Emperor of Austria renounce for ever the title of Roman Emperor, which had come down to him through the long ages of the past. It had been bestowed upon Charlemagne by the Pope nearly a thousand years before. It was now cancelled by a second Charlemagne, who ruled over an empire yet greater than the hero of the Middle Ages. The Pope was still sovereign of Rome, but "I am the Emperor!" cried Napoleon. "I do not intend the court of Rome to mix any longer in questions of the world. I am Charlemagne—the Emperor."
On October 14, 1806, the victory of Jena over the Prussians laid North Germany at his feet. As he had entered Vienna a year ago, so now he entered Berlin—a conqueror. Marching on into the heart of Poland, he now defeated the last foe left him in Europe. The summer of 1807 found him dictating peace to Alexander of Russia.
A famous meeting between the two Emperors took place on a raft moored on the river Niemen, at Tilsit.
"I hate the English as much as you do," said Alexander, as he embraced the conqueror Napoleon.
"If that is the case," answered Napoleon, "peace is made."
By this peace of Tilsit, Russia, Austria, and Prussia agreed with France, to close their ports against British trade.
"England," cried Napoleon triumphantly, "sees her merchandise repelled by all Europe, and her ships, loaded with useless wealth, seek in vain a port open to receive them."
Had he succeeded, the history of the world had indeed been changed.
Three weeks passed, and the Wednesday before Martinmas arrived. The short winter's day was over. The lights in the cottages went out. All seemed at rest.
It was then, in the starlight and the quiet, that Walter, Werner and Arnold crept out from their darkened houses.
The air was clear and crisp, and the ground was covered with frost, although no snow had yet fallen, as through the dim forest by secret ways the three came silently stealing.
Each of them had worked well. But they had worked in fear, for Austrian spies were everywhere. It was hard to know at times who was friend and who was foe. Since the night they had talked together in Walter Fürst's house, they had not dared to meet again, and each of the three wondered how the others had succeeded.
The moon shone brightly, as the dark figures stole silently through the forest Arnold came from Unterwalden bringing with him ten men. He knew every path and byway in the forest or mountain-side, and hardly a word was spoken till they arrived at the place of meeting.
"We are the first," said Arnold, as he stepped from the shadow of the trees into the moonlit space and found no one there. As he spoke a bell rang out clear and sharp across the lake. All listened. "It is the great bell of Altorf ringing twelve," said Arnold; "how well one hears it in the frosty air. The others will not be long."
As the men stood around waiting they talked in low voices, and presently the distant splash of oars was heard.
"That must be Werner Stauffacher," said Arnold, looking across the moonlit water. "I can see his boat. Wait here, I will meet him on the shore and bring him to you."
Arnold disappeared in the bushes, and the men could hear him scrambling down the rocky pathway to the shore.
Then all was silence again until the boat was quite near. "Who goes there?" called Arnold sharply.
"Friends of Freedom," replied Stauffacher's voice.
"Welcome," said Arnold as the boat touched the shore, "you do not come alone, I see."
"No," replied Werner, "I have brought ten trusty men with me. And you?"
"I too have brought ten men," replied Arnold, as he turned to lead the way upward.
"And what of Walter Fürst?" said Werner, as they reached the open space.
"He cannot now be long," said Arnold. "Ah, here he comes," and as he spoke Walter Fürst came into the ring of moonlight. Several men followed him, and beside him walked a young man. He was straight and tall, his eyes were clear and honest. He looked strong and brave, yet gentle and kind.
"William Tell," said Arnold, springing forward and seizing his hand. "God be thanked you are with us."
"So that is William Tell," said one of the men from Schwytz. "He is Walter Fürst's son-in-law, is he not? I have often heard of him. They say he is the best shot in all Switzerland."
"And so he is," replied another. "I have seen him shoot an apple from a tree a hundred paces off."
Then in the moonlight the men gathered together, Walter, Werner, and Arnold in the middle, the others around them.
"You know well, good friends," said Walter, "why we are here. It is our own free country in which we meet, yet we have to creep together at midnight and in fear. Much cruelty and injustice we have patiently borne, but now we can bear no more, and we have sworn, we three, to free our land from the power of Austria. Are you willing to join us?"
"That we are," cried every one.
"Then hear the oath which we swear," said Walter. And while the others stood silently around them, the three raised their hands to heaven and solemnly spoke. "We hereby promise never to betray or forsake each other; never to think of ourselves, but in everything to think only of our country; we promise not to try to take away from the Austrians any lands which by right belong to them, but only to free our own land from them. We will keep true to the Emperor, but the Austrian Governor, his friends, his servants, and his soldiers, we will utterly drive out of the land. If it may be, we will do this without fighting or shedding of blood. But if that may not be, we are ready to die, so that we free our country and hand on to our sons the freedom which our fathers left us. God and His holy ones helping us, in this bond we will live and die. Amen."
The three raised their hands to heaven and solemnly spoke
Grandly and solemnly the words rang out on the still night air. No other sound was heard; above was the deep blue sky glittering with stars; around, the dark and silent pine forest. These three-and-thirty men seemed alone in all the world. When the voices of the three ceased, a shout rose from the others. "Amen, amen," they cried, "we too would take the oath." And each of the thirty, raising his hand to heaven, repeated the solemn words.
Long they talked, for what they meant to do was difficult and dangerous, and needed much thought and careful planning. But at last everything was settled. The stars began to fade, the first light of dawn streaked the sky, and the snow-topped mountains were reddened by the rising sun before these three-and-thirty men parted. "Look," said Tell, pointing to the glowing hill-tops, "it is the dawn of a new day."
Then they parted, each man going back to his home resolved to be patient but a little longer, for on New Year's Day the Austrian tyranny was to end.
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing!
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms
So haggard, and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
And the harvest's done.
I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too—
I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful, a faery's child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild—
I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan—
I set her on my pacing steed
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sideways would she bend, and sing
A faery's song—
She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said,
I love thee true.
She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore;
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
With kisses four.
And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dreamed
On the cold hill's side.
I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all:
They cried—La belle dame sans merci
Hath thee in thrall!
I saw their starved lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here
On the cold hill's side.
And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.
WEEK 41 |
T HERE lived once upon a time in China a wise Emperor who had one daughter. His daughter was remarkable for her perfect beauty. Her feet were the smallest in the world; her eyes were long and slanting and bright as brown onyxes, and when you heard her laugh it was like the listening to a tinkling stream or to the chimes of a silver bell. Moreover, the Emperor's daughter was as wise as she was beautiful, and she chanted the verse of the great poets better than anyone in the land. The Emperor was old in years; his son was married and had begotten a son; he was, therefore, quite happy with regard to the succession to the throne, but he wished before he died to see his daughter wedded to someone who should be worthy of her.
Many suitors presented themselves to the palace as soon as it became know that the Emperor desired a son-in-law, but when they reached the palace they were met by the Lord Chamberlain, who told them that the Emperor had decided that only the man who found and brought back the blue rose should marry his daughter. The suitors were much puzzled by this order. What was the blue rose and where was it to be found? In all, a hundred and fifty at once put away from them all thought of winning the hand of the Emperor's daughter, since they considered the condition imposed to be absurd.
The other hundred set about trying to find the blue rose. One of them—his name was Ti-Fun-Ti—he was a merchant and was immensely rich, at once went to the largest shop in the town and said to the shopkeeper, "I want a blue rose, the best you have."
The shopkeeper, with many apologies, explained that he did not stock blue roses. He had red roses in profusion, white, pink and yellow roses, but no blue roses. There had hitherto been no demand for the article.
"Well," said Ti-Fun-Ti, "you must get one for me. I do not mind how much money it costs, but I must have a blue rose."
The shopkeeper said he would do his best, but he feared it would be an expensive article and difficult to procure. Another of the suitors, whose name I have forgotten, was a warrior, and extremely brave; he mounted his horse, and taking with him a hundred archers and a thousand horsemen, he marched into the territory of the King of the Five Rivers, whom he knew to be the richest king in the world and the possessor of the rarest treasures, and demanded of him the blue rose, threatening him with a terrible doom should he be reluctant to give it up.
The King of the Five Rivers, who disliked soldiers, and had a horror of noise, physical violence, and every kind of fuss (his bodyguard was armed solely with fans and sunshades), rose from the cushions on which he was lying when the demand was made, and, tinkling a small bell, said to the servant who straightway appeared, "Fetch me the blue rose."
The servant retired and returned presently bearing on a silken cushion a large sapphire which was carved so as to imitate a full-blown rose with all its petals.
"This," said the King of the Five Rivers, "is the blue rose. You are welcome to it."
The warrior took it, and after making brief, soldier-like thanks, he went straight back to the Emperor's palace, saying that he had lost no time in finding the blue rose. He was ushered into the presence of the Emperor, who as soon as he heard the warrior's story and saw the blue rose which had been brought sent for his daughter and said to her: "This intrepid warrior has brought you what he claims to be the blue rose. Has he accomplished the quest?"
The Princess took the precious object in her hands, and after examining it for a moment, said: "This is not a rose at all. It is a sapphire; I have no need of precious stones." And the warrior went away in discomfiture.
The merchant, hearing of the warrior's failure, was all the more anxious to win the prize. He sought the shopkeeper and said to him: "Have you got me the blue rose?" I trust you have; because, if not, I shall most assuredly be the means of your death. My brother-in-law is chief magistrate, and I am allied by marriage to all the chief officials in the kingdom."
The shopkeeper turned pale and said: "Sir, give me three days and I will procure you the rose without fail." The merchant granted him the three days and went away. Now the shopkeeper was at his wit's end as to what to do, for he knew well there was no such thing as a blue rose. For two days he did nothing but moan and wring his hands, and on the third day he went to his wife and said, "Wife, we are ruined."
But his wife, who was a sensible woman, said: "Nonsense. If there is no such thing as a blue rose we must make one. Go to the chemist and ask him for a strong dye which will change a white rose into a blue one."
So the shopkeeper went to the chemist and asked him for a dye, and the chemist gave him a bottle of red liquid, telling him to pick a white rose and to dip its stalk into the liquid and the rose would turn blue. The shopkeeper did as he was told; the rose turned into a beautiful blue and the shopkeeper took it to the merchant, who at once went with it to the palace saying that he had found the blue rose.
He was ushered into the presence of the Emperor, who as soon as he saw the blue rose sent for his daughter and said to her: "This wealthy merchant has brought you what he claims to be the blue rose. Has he accomplished the quest?"
The Princess took the flower in her hands and after examining it for a moment said: "This is a white rose, its stalk has been dipped in a poisonous dye and it has turned blue. Were a butterfly to settle upon it it would die of the potent fume. Take it back. I have no need of a dyed rose." And she returned it to the merchant with many elegantly expressed thanks.
The other ninety-eight suitors all sought in various ways for the blue rose. Some of them traveled all over the world seeking it; some of them sought the aid of wizards and astrologers, and one did not hesitate to invoke the help of the dwarfs that live underground; but all of them, whether they traveled in far countries or took counsel with wizards and demons or sat pondering in lonely places, failed to find the blue rose.
At last they all abandoned the quest except the Lord Chief Justice, who was the most skillful lawyer and statesman in the country. After thinking over the matter for several months he sent for the most famous artist in the country and said to him: "Make me a china cup. Let it be milk-white in colour and perfect in shape, and paint on it a rose, a blue rose."
The artist made obeisance and withdrew, and worked for two months at the Lord Chief Justice's cup. In two months' time it was finished, and the world has never seen such a beautiful cup, so perfect in symmetry, so delicate in texture, and the rose on it, the blue rose, was a living flower, picked in fairyland and floating on the rare milky surface of the porcelain. When the Lord Chief Justice saw it he gasped with surprise and pleasure, for he was a great lover of porcelain, and never in his life had he seen such a piece. He said to himself, "Without doubt the blue rose is here on this cup and nowhere else."
So, after handsomely rewarding the artist, he went to the Emperor's palace and said that he had brought the blue rose. He was ushered into the Emperor's presence, who as he saw the cup sent for his daughter and said to her: "This eminent lawyer has brought you what he claims to be the blue rose. Has he accomplished the quest?"
The Princess took the bowl in her hands, and after examining it for a moment said: "This bowl is the most beautiful piece of china I have ever seen. If you are kind enough to let me keep it I will put it aside until I receive the blue rose. For so beautiful is it that no other flower is worthy to be put in it except the blue rose."
The Lord Chief Justice thanked the Princess for accepting the bowl with many elegantly turned phrases, and he went away in discomfiture.
After this there was no one in the whole country who ventured on the quest of the blue rose. It happened that not long after the Lord Chief Justice's attempt a strolling minstrel visited the kingdom of the Emperor. One evening he was playing his one-stringed instrument outside a dark wall. It was a summer's evening, and the sun had sunk in a glory of dusty gold, and in the violet twilight one or two stars were twinkling like spearheads. There was an incessant noise made by the croaking of frogs and the chatter of grasshoppers. The minstrel was singing a short song over and over again to a monotonous tune. The sense of it was something like this:
I watched beside the willow trees
The river, as the evening fell,
The twilight came and brought no breeze,
Nor dew, nor water for the well.
When from the tangled banks of grass
A bird across the water flew,
And in the river's hard grey glass
I saw a flash of azure blue.
As he sang he heard a rustle on the wall, and looking up he saw a slight figure white against the twilight, beckoning him. He walked along under the wall until he came to a gate, and there someone was waiting for him, and he was gently led into the shadow of a dark cedar tree. In the dim twilight he saw two bright eyes looking at him, and he understood their message. In the twilight a thousand meaningless nothings were whispered in the light of the stars, and the hours fled swiftly. When the East began to grow light, the Princess (for it was she) said it was time to go.
"But," said the minstrel, "to-morrow I shall come to the palace and ask for your hand."
"Alas!" said the Princess, "I would that were possible, but my father has made a foolish condition that only he may wed me who finds the blue rose."
"That is simple," said the minstrel. "I will find it." And they said good night to each other.
The next morning the minstrel went to the palace, and on his way he picked a common white rose from a wayside garden. He was ushered into the Emperor's presence, who sent for his daughter and said to her: "This penniless minstrel has brought you what he claims to be the blue rose. Has he accomplished the quest?"
The Princess took the rose in her hands and said: "Yes, this is without doubt the blue rose."
But the Lord Chief Justice and all who were present respectfully pointed out that the rose was a common white rose and not a blue one, and the objection was with many forms and phrases conveyed to the Princess.
"I think the rose is blue," said the Princess. "Perhaps you are all colour blind."
The Emperor, with whom the decision rested, decided that if the Princess thought the rose was blue it was blue, for it was well known that her perception was more acute than that of any one else in the kingdom.
So the minstrel married the Princess, and they settled on the sea coast in a little seen house with a garden full of white roses, and they lived happily ever afterwards. And the Emperor, knowing that his daughter had made a good match, died in peace.
"W HAT is the difference between a hornet and a yellow jacket?" Theodore wanted to know one day, and Uncle Will replied:
"Well, there isn't much difference and then again there is. The yellow jacket is smaller, and where the hornet dresses in white, the yellow jacket prinks itself out in yellow. It is mainly a matter of color with thee two families—each has its own badge, so to speak. The color and the faces—there is quite a difference in the faces, you know."
"No, I don't know," said Theodore. "Tell me about it, please."
"Here," said Uncle Will, drawing a dead and dried hornet from his pocket; "now get the glass and look. See? The eyes are not big and bulging like the eyes of Pelopaeus. They lie flatter on the sides of the head, and they are cut into a half-moon shape. The wasp wears a sort of helmet on its brow, like his Majesty's elephants, you know, and the shape of this helmet differs in the different species of Vespa. There are several species of yellow jackets, some tiny fellows, and you know them by their fronts. But don't ask me to tell you which is which, for I am not well enough acquainted with them," Uncle Will quickly added, as Theodore tried to interrupt him.
Theodore laughed. "Well, I was just going to ask you to tell me how I could know the different kinds by their faces."
"I know you were, and so I spoke in time. Now ask me something I can answer."
"Are they all called Vespa?" Theodore promptly inquired.
"Yes, the hornets and yellow jackets are all called Vespa. The big white hornet is Vespa Maculata, as you know. The yellow jackets have different Vespa names. We call them all the social wasps, because they live together in colonies, like bees, instead of each for herself, like Pelopaeus."
"They don't look a bit like Pelopaeus, the lady of the slender waist."
"No, they are not so elegant in shape, but they doubtless pride themselves on their strength and their bright colors—and then their wings are folded lengthwise like little fans, which Pelopaeus' wings are not."
"Oh, yes, I remember! Let me see that," said Theodore.
Uncle Will took another hornet out of his pocket, one freshly killed, with its wings still soft enough to spread out.
"It seems to me you are well supplied with wasps this morning, Mr. Uncle Will o' the Wasps," said Theodore, giving him a punch on the chest out of pure love.
"Yes, I am," said Uncle Will, "and you can see for yourself they are needed. Now for this matter of the wings;" and he spread out a wing carefully with the help of a pin. "There," he said, "isn't it just as I said?"
"I should say it is," declared Theodore. "How cunning! But a fan folds up many times, and this wing folds only once."
"True enough," said Uncle Will. "This is a wasp fan, you see, and has only two slats, but it needs no more—see how very thin and flat it is when it is folded up—it is more slender even than the wings of Pelopaeus, and those, you remember, we thought were very small indeed."
"Yes, they seemed too small to fly with, and if this heavy wasp had such slender wings I don't believe she could fly."
"No, I don't think they could carry her weight, so she solves the problem by having them wide enough to fly with, and by folding them away she makes them small enough to walk comfortably about the narrow passages of her house. You know wide wings would be in the way in the nest, but these of hers can be folded down are mere until they along each side of her back."
"Has she four wings like the bees, and are there two on either side hooked together?"
"Yes, yes," said Uncle Will, laughing; "the wings are made just about the same in all the bees and wasps."
"Here are some cells with the caps still on," said Theodore, looking closely at the lower comb of cells.
"Sure enough," said Uncle Will; "we must see about that."
"How white the caps look!" said Theodore.
"Yes; they are not made of paper, you know, but of nice white silk out of the grub's mouth." "Let us open one," said Theodore eagerly.
"Do it we will," replied Uncle Will, carefully cutting off a cap with his sharp knife.
"There is something inside," whispered Theodore.
"Something there is," said Uncle Will, picking it out with the point of his knife; "there!"
"Oh dear!" cried Theodore, "it is all withered up and good for nothing."
"Good for nothing it is," agreed Uncle Will, poking it a little. "Perhaps it got sealed up too late in the season and the cold caught it. Perhaps it was sick and the doctor did not get there in time."
"Oh, Uncle Will, it couldn't send for the doctor, it was all sealed up!"
"So it was! Excuse me, nephew mine, excuse me;" and Uncle Will looked soberly at Theodore, who looked soberly back again, and then they both burst out laughing.
Next day the sun shone brightly and dried the ground that had been soaked by the rain of the day before.
"Come," said Uncle Will, "and I will introduce you to Vespa
You may be sure Theodore dropped what he was doing and started off at once with Uncle Will.
"There," said Uncle Will, pointing to a little nest about as
big as a
"Why!" exclaimed Theodore, "that looks just like the
"But you see who is going into it?"
Sure enough, a fine yellow jacket alighted at the opening of the nest and crawled in.
"It is the lady of the house," said Uncle Will. "Madam Yellow Jacket loves to place her home under the shelter of the eaves, and one less often finds her nest in trees, though she is sometimes driven to building there."
"Is the yellow jacket's nest the same inside as the hornet's?"
"Just about the same, only the cells are not quite so large."
WEEK 41 |
Matthew xxvi: 17 to 35;
Mark xiv: 12 to 31;
Luke xxii: 7 to 38;
John xiii: 1, to xvii: 26.
N one of the days in the week before the Passover, the disciples came to Jesus at Bethany, and said, "Master, where shall we make ready the Passover for you to eat?"
Then Jesus called to himself the two disciples, Peter
and John, and said to them, "Go into the city, and a
man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow
him, and go into the house where he goes, and say to
the head of the house, 'The Master says, "Where is my
guest-room; where I can eat the Passover with my
"And he will himself show you a large upper room, furnished; there make ready for us."
Peter and John went into Jerusalem, and soon in the street they saw a man walking toward them carrying a pitcher of water. They followed him, went into the house where he took the pitcher, and spoke to the man who seemed to be its head:
"The Master says, 'Where is the guest-room for me,
where I may eat the Passover with my
The man led them upstairs, and showed them a larger upper room, with the table and the couches around it, all ready for the guests at dinner. Then the disciples went out, and brought a lamb, and roasted it; and made ready the vegetables and the thin wafers of bread made without yeast, for the meal.
On Thursday afternoon, Jesus and his disciples walked out of Bethany together, and over the Mount of Olives, and into the city. Only Jesus, who could read the thoughts of men, knew that one of these disciples, Judas, had made a promise to the chief priests to lead them and their servants to Jesus, when the hour should come to seize him: and Judas was watching for the best time to do this dreadful deed. They came into the house, and went upstairs to the large room, where they found the supper all ready. The meal was spread upon a table; and around the table were couches for the company, where each one lay down with his head toward the table, so near that he could help himself to the food, while his feet were at the foot of the couch, toward the wall of the room. Their feet were bare, for they had all taken off their sandals as they came in.
Jesus was leaning at the head of the table, and John, the disciple whom Jesus loved most, was lying next to him. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and gave thanks. Then he broke it, and passed a piece to each one of the twelve, saying:
"Take, and eat; this is my body which is broken for you; do this and remember me."
Afterward, he took the cup of wine, and passed it to each one, with the words:
"This cup is my blood, shed for you, and for many, that their sins may be taken away; as often as you drink this, remember me."
While they were still leaning on the couches around the table, Jesus rose up, and took off his outer robe, and then tied around his waist a long towel. He poured water into a basin, and while all the disciples were wondering, he carried the water to the feet of one of the disciples, and began to wash them, just as though he himself were a servant. Then he washed the feet of another disciple, and then of still another. When he came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, "Dost thou, O Lord, wash my feet?"
Jesus washes the feet of Peter.
Jesus said to him, "What I do, you cannot understand now, but you will understand it after a time."
"Lord, thou shalt never wash my feet," said Peter.
"If I do not wash you," said Jesus, "then you are none of mine."
Then Peter said, "O Lord, wash not only my feet, but my hands and my head too!"
But Jesus said to him, "No, Peter; one who has already bathed needs only to wash his feet, and then he is clean. And you are clean, but not all of you."
For he knew that among those whose feet he was washing was one, the traitor, who would soon give him up to his enemies. After he had washed their feet, he put on his garments again, and leaned once more on his couch, and looked around, and said:
"Do you know what I have done to you? You call me 'Master' and 'Lord,' and you speak rightly, for so I am. If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other's feet; for I have given you an example that you should do to each other as I have done to you."
By this Jesus meant that all who follow him should help and serve each other, instead of seeking great things for themselves.
While Jesus was talking, he became very sad and sorrowful, and said, "Verily, verily, I say to you, that one of you that are eating with me shall betray me, and give me up to those who will kill me."
Then all the disciples looked round on each other, wondering who was the one that Jesus meant. One said, and another said, "Am I the one, Lord?"
And Jesus said, "It is one of you twelve men, who are dipping your hands into the same dish and eating with me. The Son of Man goes, as it is written of him; but woe to that man who betrays him and gives him up to die. It would have been good for that man if he had never been born."
While Jesus was speaking, Simon Peter made signs to John across the table, that he, leaning next to Jesus, should ask him who this traitor was. So John whispered to Jesus, as he was lying close to him, "Lord, who is it?"
Jesus answered, but so low that none else heard: "It is the one to whom I will give a piece of bread after I have dipped it in the dish."
Then Jesus dipped into the dish a piece of bread, and gave it to Judas Iscariot, who was lying near him. And as he gave it, he said, "Do quickly what you are going to do."
No one except John knew what this meant. Not all heard what Jesus said to Judas; and those who heard thought that Jesus was telling him to do something belonging to the feast, or perhaps, as Judas carried the money, that he should make some gift to the poor. But Judas at once went out, for he saw now that his plan was known, and it must be carried out now or never. He knew that after the supper Jesus would go back to Bethany; and he went to the rulers, told them where they might watch for Jesus on his way back to Bethany, and went with a band of men to a place at the foot of the Mount of Olives, where he was sure Jesus would pass.
As soon as Judas had gone out, Jesus said to the eleven disciples, "Little children, I shall be with you only a little while. I am going away; and where I go, you cannot come now. But when I am gone away from you, remember this new commandment that I give you, that you love one another even as I have loved you."
Simon Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus answered, "Where I go, you cannot follow me now, but you shall follow me afterward."
Peter said to him, "Lord, what, cannot I follow you even now? I will lay down my life for your sake."
Jesus said, "Will you lay down your life for me? I tell
you, Peter, that before the cock crows
But Peter said, "Though I die, I will never deny you, Lord!"
And so said all the other disciples; but Jesus said to them, "Before morning comes every one of you will leave me alone. Yet I will not be alone, for the Father will be with me."
Jesus saw that Peter and all his disciples were full of sorrow at his words, and he said, "Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many houses; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going to make ready a place for you. And when it is ready, I will come again, and take you to myself, that when I am, there you may be also."
Then Jesus talked with the disciples a long time, and prayed for them. And about midnight they left the supper-room together, and came to the Mount of Olives.
HE Court Painter of His Majesty the King of Crim
Tartary returned to that monarch's dominions, carrying
away a number of sketches
which he had made in the Paflagonian capital (you know,
of course, my dears, that the name of that capital is
Blombodinga); but the most charming of all his pieces
was a portrait of the Princess Angelica, which all the
Crim Tartar nobles came to see. With this work the King
was so delighted, that he decorated the Painter with
his Order of the Pumpkin (sixth class), and the artist
became Sir Tomaso Lorenzo,
King Valoroso also sent Sir Tomaso his Order of the Cucumber, besides a handsome order for money, for he painted the King, Queen, and principal nobility while at Blombodinga, and became all the fashion, to the perfect rage of all the artists in Paflagonia, where the King used to point to the portrait of Prince Bulbo, which Sir Tomaso had left behind him, and say: "Which among you can paint a picture like that?"
It hung in the royal parlor over the royal sideboard, and Princess Angelica could always look at it as she sat making the tea. Each day it seemed to grow handsomer and handsomer, and the Princess grew so fond of looking at it, that she would often spill the tea over the cloth, at which her father and mother would wink and wag their heads, and say to each other: "Aha! we see how things are going."
In the meanwhile poor Giglio lay up stairs very sick in his chamber, though he took all the doctor's horrible medicines like a good young lad; as I hope you do, my dears, when you are ill and mamma sends for the medical man. And the only person who visited Giglio (besides his friend, the captain of the guard, who was almost always busy or on parade) was little Betsinda, the housemaid, who used to do his bedroom and sitting-room out, bring him his gruel, and warm his bed.
When the little housemaid came to him in the morning and evening, Prince Giglio used to say: "Betsinda! Betsinda! how is the Princess Angelica?"
And Betsinda used to answer: "The Princess is very well, thank you, my Lord." And Giglio would heave a sigh, and think: if Angelica were sick I am sure I should not be very well.
Then Giglio would say: "Betsinda, has the Princess Angelica asked for me to-day?" And Betsinda would answer: "No, my Lord, not to-day"; or, "She was very busy practising the piano when I saw her"; or, "She was writing invitations for an evening party, and did not speak to me"; or make some excuse or other not strictly consonant with truth; for Betsinda was such a good-natured creature, that she strove to do every thing to prevent annoyance to Prince Giglio, and even brought him up roast chicken and jellies from the kitchen (when the doctor allowed them, and Giglio was getting better), saying "that the Princess had made the jelly, or the bread-sauce, with her own hands, on purpose for Giglio."
When Giglio heard this he took heart and began to mend immediately; and gobbled up all the jelly, and picked the last bone of the chicken—drumsticks, merry-thought, sides'-bones, back, pope's-nose, and all—thanking his dear Angelica; and he felt so much better the next day, that he dressed and went down-stairs, where, whom should he meet but Angelica going into the drawing-room. All the covers were off the chairs, the chandeliers taken out of the bags, the damask curtains uncovered, the work and things carried away, and the handsomest albums on the tables. Angelica had her hair in papers; in a word, it was evident there was going to be a party.
"Heavens, Giglio!" cries Angelica; "you here in such a dress! What a figure you are!"
"Yes, dear Angelica, I am come down-stairs, and feel
so well to-day, thanks to the fowl and
"What do I know about fowls and jellies, that you allude to them in that rude way?" says Angelica.
"Why, didn't—didn't you send them, Angelica dear?" says Giglio.
"I send them indeed! Angelica dear! No, Giglio dear," says she, mocking him, "I was engaged in getting the rooms ready for His Royal Highness the Prince of Crim Tartary, who is coming to pay my papa's Court a visit."
"The—Prince—of—Crim—Tartary!" Giglio said, aghast.
"Yes, the Prince of Crim Tartary," says Angelica, mocking him. "I dare say you never heard of such a country. What did you ever hear of? You don't know whether Crim Tartary is on the Red Sea or on the Black Sea, I dare say."
"Yes, I do; it's on the Red Sea," says Giglio; at which the Princess burst out laughing at him, and said: "Oh, you ninny! You are so ignorant, you are really not fit for society! You know nothing but about horses and dogs; and are only fit to dine with my Royal Father's heaviest dragoons. Don't look so surprised at me, sir; go and put your best clothes on to receive the Prince, and let me get the drawing-room ready."
Giglio said: "O Angelica, Angelica, I didn't think
this of you. This wasn't your language
to me when you
gave me this ring, and I gave you mine in the garden,
and you gave me that
But what k was we never shall know, for Angelica, in a rage, cried: "Get out, you saucy, rude creature! How dare you to remind me of your rudeness? As for your little trumpery twopenny ring, there, sir, there!" And she flung it out of the window.
"It was my mother's marriage ring," cried Giglio.
"I don't care whose marriage ring it was," cries Angelica. "Marry the person who picks it up if she's a woman, you sha'n't marry me. And give me back my ring. I've no patience with people who boast about the things they give away! I know who'll give me much finer things than you ever gave me. A beggarly ring indeed, not worth five shillings!"
Now Angelica little knew that the ring which Giglio had given her was a fairy ring: if a man wore it, it made all the women in love with him; if a woman, all the gentlemen. The Queen, Giglio's mother, quite an ordinary looking person, was admired immensely while she wore this ring, and her husband was frantic when she was ill. But when she called her little Giglio to her, and put the ring on his finger, King Savio did not seem to care for his wife so much any more, but transferred all his love to little Giglio. So did everybody love him as long as he had the ring, but when, as quite a child, he gave it to Angelica, people began to love and admire her; and Giglio, as the saying is, played only second fiddle.
"Yes," says Angelica, going on in her foolish, ungrateful way, "I know who'll give me much finer things than your beggarly little pearl nonsense."
"Very good, Miss! You may take back your ring, too!" says Giglio, his eyes flashing fire at her, and then, as if his eyes had been suddenly opened, he cried out; "Ha, what does this mean? Is this the woman I have been in love with all my life? Have I been such a ninny as to throw away my regard upon you? Why—actually—yes—you are a little crooked!"
"Oh, you wretch!" cries Angelica.
"And, upon my conscience, you—you squint a little."
"E!" cries Angelica.
"And your hair is red—and you are marked with the small-pox—and what? you have three false teeth—and one leg shorter than the other!"
"You brute, you brute, you!" Angelica screamed out; and as she seized the ring with one hand, she dealt Giglio one, two, three, smacks on the face, and would have pulled the hair off his head had he not started laughing, and crying:
"O dear me, Angelica, don't pull out my hair, it hurts! You might remove a great deal of your own, as I perceive, without scissors or pulling at all. O, ho, ho! ha, ha, ha! he, he, he!"
And he nearly choked himself with laughing, and she with rage, when, with a low bow, and dressed in his Court habit, Count Gambabella, the first lord-in-waiting, entered and said: "Royal Highnesses! Their Majesties expect you in the Pink Throne-room, where they await the arrival of the Prince of CRIM TARTARY."